Community Voices

Mother’s Day a time to celebrate the generations

On Sunday, mothers throughout the country will be honored on what is known as Mother’s Day.

The special day has always been one of my favorite holidays. Not just because I am a mother, but because it brings back many wonderful memories of my own mom, and how I celebrated her — saving my pennies to buy gifts from the five and dime store. Back then, you could buy a lot of treasures for a $1. Mom saved some of those gifts until I became a grandmother. Then, as time would have it, they just fell apart.

It also brings back the memory of the time my two sons forgot to remember me. Not even a card.

I believe Rick was about 17 at the time and had more important things on his mind — like girls. Shawn was 14. On this particular Mother’s Day, I got up as usual to prepare breakfast and start the Sunday dinner before going to church. As I went about my chores, it dawned on me that no one woke me with breakfast in bed or a nice card that said, “Happy Mother’s Day to Mom,” or something like that.

We finished breakfast and got dressed for church. I’d gotten a nice card for my mom and gave her a nice gift. I even remembered a couple of the older women in church with a card and a small “love token.”

Still, nothing from my boys.

Back home after church, we settled around the table for a nice Sunday dinner. Still, I didn’t get even a verbal “Happy Mother’s Day” from them.

So I did what all warm-blooded moms around the world would do. I made them feel so guilty that they didn’t “think enough of their mom to give her even a hand-made card” that they were almost in tears. I went on about how I “struggled” keeping a roof over their heads, food on the table and clothes on their backs.

The guilt trip worked. They never forgot again. As they got older, we laughed about that time and how “guilty” I’d made them feel.

My taking my sons down “Mothers Day Guilt Street” was done sort of tongue-in-cheek. I knew they loved me, but it was up to me to teach them how one day be good husbands. I wanted them to remember how important some things are to us women. And Mother’s Day is a very important day for most of us because it is a day that we are shown special attention.

My sons got the message and grew up to remember their wives — the mothers of their children — on Mothers Day.

And they remembered me, too. On the last Mother’s Day before my older son Rick died in 2012, he called me and said, “Mom, I’m a little short of cash right now, so I can’t buy my girls (his wife, Debra, and daughters Nykeva and Jamie, who are mothers) anything real nice. So, I’m going to make Mother’s Day dinner for you all.”

It was the best gift I’d ever received from Rick. I didn’t realize then, but he wasn’t feeling well, so he’d started cooking on Friday after work and spent most of Saturday before Mothers Day preparing our feast.

The food was wonderful. He’d made braised oxtails, turkey wings, peas and rice, collard greens and a variety of other delicacies. We had a wonderful time that day, eating and sitting around talking about how good the food was. Rick smiled. His gift was appreciated.

As I look back over past Mother’s Days, I’d like to think that, just maybe, the time that I took my boys down “Mothers Day Guilt Street” had something to do with how they turned out to be both thoughtful and considerate.

Flowering tree show

If your mom has a green thumb and you are wondering what to get her for Mother’s Day, think about this: Tropical Flowering Tree Society will have its annual Mother’s Day Show and Sale from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m Saturday and Sunday at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd. in Coral Gables.

The tree society is dedicated to the promotion, propagation and perrservation of tropical flowering trees.

“This year we have more exciting varieties of trees, shrubs, and vines than ever,” said Jessica Cabrera, society president. “If you are in the market for something rare, fragrant, and spectacular, this is the show for you.”

Cabrera said the show is one of the “largest of its kind in the world” and those attending will find all kinds of “fabulous plants in a rainbow of colors, from plants for your butterfly garden, to fragrant plants to perfume your landscape to rare finds for collectors.

The event will also feature free grafting classes and experts will be there to answer any questions about your plants.

For more information, call 305-389-5404 or check the website at www.tfts.org.

Community discussion

The Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations (COSMOS) invites the community on Thursday to a Community Engagement and Discussion, with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at Miami Dade College Hialeah Gardens Campus, in Room 5101 in the Event Hall, 3750 W. 18th Ave.

Registration will be from 1:30 to 2 p.m., followed by the program. The discussion will center around the impact of enforcement of current policies on immigrant populations.

Special guests will include Veronica Venture of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and acting officer, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties; and Kareem Shora, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Section Chief, Community Engagement Section Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

In addition to COSMOS, the event is sponsored by the ACLU of Florida; Emerge USA; Americans for Immigrant Justice; Florida International University,; Miami Dade County Board of County Commissioners, MCCJ, and the Asian American Advisory Board.

Call Tehsin Siddiqui at 954-483-3180 for more information.

‘Unity in Praise’

The Rev. Dr. Joaquin Willis and congregation at The Church of the Open Door (Congregational), UCC, invites the community to the 49th annual Pink Tea, to be at 4 p.m. May 21 in the Long Hall of the church, 6001 NW Eighth Ave. in Liberty City.

The program will feature the musical talents of jazz vocalist and violinist Nicole Yarling, and the theme for the day is “Unity in Praise.”

Call Delores Carey at 305-759-0373 for tickets and for more information.

Consciousness science

The Second International Congress on Consciousness (ICC) will be May 19-21, at the James L. Knight Miami Conference Center, 400 SE Second Ave. in downtown Miami.

The event will feature over 20 speakers over the three days and will bring together both scholars and lay people with a shared interest in the continuous refining of a more advanced scientific approach which acknowledges the existence of non-physical or non-ordinary realities.

Information from a press release describes the organization as “a global forum for an open exchange and debate on scholarship and research centered upon consciousness, focusing on the continual development of consciousness science.”

The event is sponsored by FIU’s Program in the Study of Spirituality. Call 305-348-2186 for the cost of admission and more information about ICC.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172 or email bea.hines@gmail.com. Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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